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UMFK partnering with ACAP to offer students hands-on learning experience

October 22, 2004

NR04206

Students enrolled in the education, social and behavioral science programs at the University of Maine at Fort Kent will now have an additional hands-on opportunity to apply the lessons they learn in the classroom in the real world under a new agreement with the Aroostook County Action Program.

The ACAP and Headstart Programs in the St. John Valley are offering UMFK students semester-long internships that will provide first-hand job shadowing and training of family service workers and teachers at sites throughout the Valley.

"Interns will learn what a real workplace has to offer, along with proper protocol and expectations related to specific situations within their individual major," said Mary Warren, center supervisor for ACAP Head Start in the Valley region. "For example, not only will family service worker interns be learning skills necessary to maneuver through the legions of paperwork required for the position, they also will participate in family partnerships and practice methods of family relationship building."

According to Warren, ACAP, which has a long tradition of serving the community in many capacities, is proud to be participating in this worthwhile higher education endeavor, which will allow students real-life work experience in the fields of social work and education.

"It is very necessary to study a subject, but many times that is only one part of the education equation. Real-world participation is another important part of that equation, and is seen by many higher institutions of learning, including UMFK, as an important completion to the well rounded graduate. Internships can be compared to on-the-job-training, or as in past times as apprentices," said Warren.

The ACAP supervisor is hoping students who take advantage of the new program gain valuable work experience that may give them a competitive edge when searching for jobs after college.

"Many internship host sites are known to hire their former interns, as the company or agency also has first-hand knowledge of the working ethics of the student. I see this as a win-win situation for all concerned," added Warren.

UMFK students can make arrangements to complete an internship through ACAP, beginning with the upcoming spring semester, by contacting their faculty advisor.

Students wanting more information on the internship opportunities are encouraged to e-mail Warren at mwarren@acap-me.org.